Beautiful! Thank you!
Longing for a bygone era, in more ways than one.
Agree with all of the above comments.
For my money, the entirety of the Fitzgerald/Armstrong discography is comforting, beautiful, perfect and sublime and worth taking the time to listen.
I am always surprised/impressed (but perhaps shouldn’t be given his stature as an instrumentalist) how Louis Armstrong with that rough, gravel-and-broken-glass voice, really does sing in tune very reliably.
And of course Ella Fitzgerald could do a devastating Armstrong impersonation.
I remember one evening on the Tonight Show, Johnny Carson asked Louis Armstrong what musicians had most influenced him. He immediately answered, John McCormack, and looked to his recordings for ideas about phrasing. Carson obviously had no idea who Armstrong was talking about, so Louis broke into Vesti la giubba. It got a laugh but I think Armstrong was entirely serious.
He was serious. For what it’s worth when they filmed High Society Bing Crosby was also impressed by Armstrong’s singing and knowledge of classical music.
Don’t know if anybody here is interested in my Louie Armstrong story but here it is:
First time I met him was Xmas time 1949. I had just bought a Louie 78 at Big Joe’s record store on W.46th St. I’m walking down B’way and I’m shocked to see Louie walking up B’way. I remember shouting “Satchmo” and the 2 of us walked, with our arms around each other, uptown to the Capitol Theatre where he was playing. I was so excited, I almost broke my record showing it to him. He invited me to visit him in his dressing room someday. A few days later, with a friend of mine, we bought tickets for a matinee show at the Capitol (50 cents?). . After the show, we went to the stage door and I told the door man that Louie invited me to come up. He phoned up to his room, got the OK and up we went. Louie was resting in a cot and the first thing I noticed was the Star of David hanging from his neck and thought, can’t be, he can’t be Jewish! I have no idea what we said but, coming from school, I had my note book which had his picture pasted on the inside cover. He signed it (green ink) and it hangs on my wall today along with a second one he signed at another time.
The second time was my graduation night from H.S. About 5 or 6 of us went to Bop City on, I believe, 47th and B’way. I told Louie who we were and he made an announcement, the exact words I still remember: “There’s a buncha kids just graduated from Erasmus Hall High School and I’d like to dedicate my next number to them.” He blew Auld Lang Syne ending by skat singing,”old acquaintance, be forgot baba ba doo zip, yeah” all the time looking at me (us). A great musician and a warm wonderful person.
In the late 50’s and early 60’s there was a Nathan’s-like establishment in Queens, a few minutes from the World’s Fair, that probably had seating inside for a few hundred people and an outdoor area that accommodated another hundred or so. On hot summer days, the place was always packed and people brought food outside and ate wherever they could. On one such day, there was Louis Armstrong eating hot dogs at the curb with a crush of people on every side. He was an extraordinary musician and by all accounts the most unaffected person in the limelight for over 40 years.
Fabulous recollections both. Thank you.
Thanks for sharing that!
Did a 3-week show with Ella in the ’60s. What a great singer but what an exacting woman who called the conductor into her dressing room after EVERY show with complaints even though the band consisted of studio musicians.
So gorgeous, the best distraction right now. Thank you so much for sharing this recording. And the recollections in the comments are priceless! Going to go listen again
It brings tears in my eyes ! Thanks ! Two of the most beautiful voices that have ever existed.
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